The next president of the Philippines? The son of a dictator. – Mother Jones

Aaron Favila / AP

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The Philippines are poised to elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as its next president, elevating a dictator’s son to the leader of the country. Monday, with over 86 percent of the districts reporting, Marcos Jr., known by the nickname “Bongbong”, and the son of Ferdinand Marcos Sr., who terrorized the country for two decades, had already collected nearly 60 percent of the vote.

Even if hey held a command command in the polls for months, his victory in a apparent landslide it will still be a surprising result. In 1986, Filipinos took to the streets in what became known as the People Power Revolution to force his father out of power.

After Marcos Sr.’s ouster and eventual death in exile, his family returned to the Philippines and began a relentless push to reclaim political power. In his successful final campaign, Marcos Jr. adopted a Trumpian playbook to perfection, refusing to discuss his rivals, criticizing critical accounts of his family as “fake news” and using social media to directly reach an angry base of supporters.

His effort to disguise his family’s brutality was successful among younger voters who either didn’t know about the various Marcos family disputes or didn’t care. the New York Timeswho interviewed voters before the election, found early examples of collective amnesia:

At a rally in Las Piñas, Ella Mae Alipao, 15, said she had received most of the news about Mr. Marcos from TikTok and Facebook and that she did not “believe much in the books”. After Mr. Marcos’ father was ousted, Ms. Alipao said, “Filipinos found out how good he was; at that moment they understood that they should have appointed him president for a longer period “.

Here is another one:

“If he’s a thief, why wasn’t he incarcerated?” asked Rjay Garcia, a 19-year-old carpet seller, at a recent rally in the city of Santa Rosa. Mr. Garcia said he believed that the cases against Mr. Marcos’ family were meant to “destroy his reputation” and that he “had never heard” of protests for popular power.

Once Marcos Jr. takes office, Filipinos grappling with their story will face further obstacles. The Marcos have not yet paid the incredible sum stolen from the government before fleeing. (The family accumulated about $ 10 billion while he was in office.) Imelda Marcos is in the process of appealing to various convictions for grafting while Marcos Jr. is believed owed nearly $ 4 billion in unpaid taxes on his father’s property. The family’s almost Herculean ability to stay out of prison will only continue with another Marcos in power.

It’s hard to understand how Marcos Jr. got over the stain of his father’s legacy, but like Katharine Ellison, author of a Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Imelda Marcos, said Last month the Marcoses have always been “insightful” with the press. Marcos Sr. and Imelda came to power “precisely in the Kennedy period and consciously modeled themselves on Camelot”. Decades after their fall from grace, that image has proved more lasting for Filipino voters than the victims of torture, stolen funds, and vanity projects left in their wake.